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  • The Link Between Green Tea and Obesity

    There are many health benefits to drinking tea, this is mainly because of the antioxidant properties of polyphenols, such as theaflavins and catechins, that they contain.

    Recently research has shown that components of tea may be involved in the control of obesity. This may have major implications as obesity is becoming a major problem in the 21st century. Indeed being overweight is linked with many conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and type II diabetes, and is known to decreases life span.

    In addition to health impacts, increasing levels of obesity are likely to lead to major economic problems; it is thought that if rises in obesity continue at the same rate in the USA that the health system will be crippled by the next generation. Additionally the next generation of Americans are likely to be the first with a lower life span than their parents. The finding that green tea may contain components that help to prevent weight gain has created much excitement in the tea research circles.

    Drinking Green Tea Increases Energy Expenditure and Decreases Cholesterol

    Research by Rudelle and colleagues has shown that by drinking a solution of green tea, calcium and caffeine leads to an increase in energy expenditure of 4.6% in a 24 hour period. This level of increased energy expenditure is thought to be enough to control of weight gain. It is not yet known which is the key component involved in increasing the energy expenditure or if all three are required, but what is known is that catechins found in green tea are able to reduce the levels of LDL-cholesterols and triglycerides in the body. Strongly suggesting that drinking green tea is likely to have a very positive role in the fight against obesity.

    In mice injection of EGCG (the main polyphenol in green tea) has shown to reduce their body weight dramatically after as little as two days. At the molecular levels consumption of catechins leads to increased energy expenditure in mitochondria and reduction in the expression of the fatty acid synthase enzyme. Furthermore, studies have shown that catechins are able to lower the levels of weight gain when animals are given a high fat diet.

    Will Drinking Green Tea Help to Reduce Your Weight?

    Although much research is yet to be done in humans, it seems that extracts found in green tea such as caffeine and catechins are able to promote the thermogenesis of the body, to lower the levels of fats and carbohydrates and to suppress the appetite. Taking together it is thought that drinking tea may help to control weight gain and decrease the risk of becoming obese.


    Khan and Mukhtar (2007) Tea polyphenols for health promotion. Life Sciences 81: 519 to 533.
    Klaus et al. (2005). Epigallocatechin gallate attenuates diet-induced obesity in mice by decreasing energy absorption and increasing fat oxidation. International Journal of Obesity 29: 615.
    Lin and Lin-Shiau (2006). Mechanisms of hypolipidemic and anti-obesity effects of tea and tea polyphenols. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 50: 211 to 217.
    Murase et al. (2002). Beneficial effects of tea catechins on diet-induced obesity: Stimulation of lipid catabolism in the liver. International Journal of Obesity Related Metabolic Disorders 26: 1459 to 1464.
    Rudelle et al. (2007). Effect of a thermogenic beverage on 24-hour energy metabolism in humans. Obesity 15: 349 to 355.